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Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Webster's dictionary defines hopeful as exciting hope; promising advantage or success and in her latest series, Return to Sugarcreek, Shelley Shepard Gray does just that for two remarkable characters in her book Hopeful. Miriam Zehr wants to have hope. Being twenty-five among the Amish and without any romantic aspects in her future, she is considered a bit of an outcast by both friends and her family. That make Miriam all the more subconscious about being a little overweight and not the prettiest young woman in her opinion. In fact, no one has ever given Miriam a passing glance. She finds solace in working as a waitress and baker at the Sugarcreek Inn, but even there she comes up short, she can't even make it to work on time. It's a good thing she is such a great baker and hard worker or she would have lost her job awhile ago. But something has to change for her.

When Junior Beiler arrives at the Inn and asks to meet with Miriam at her house after work, she finally feels that God is about to answer her prayers. She thinks Junior has come to court her! She has had her eye on Junior for quite some time and is finally willing to believe something good is coming her way. Even her parents are thrilled to hear that Junior is making plans to come to the house to talk to Miriam, However, when Junior arrives all he wants to know is if Miriam can help set him up with her best friend Mary Kate. In one instant, all her hopes and dreams are dashed in pieces. Yet Miriam will never let anyone know that she set herself up believing for one minute that Junior was interested in her and plays it off in front of her parents and Junior. To Junior, she is willing to be that "friend" he needs to get to Mary Kate, but she can't let her parents and family think that Junior doesn't want to court her, so she begins to live a double life of sorts, not being honest to anyone but most of all not even herself.

Judith Graber has learned after her last miscarriage that she can no longer have any babies and she wonders just what kind of wife can she be to Ben, if she can't give him the family he has wanted. No matter how much Ben assures her that his only concern is for her to get better, no amount of love seems to be enough for Judith to come to terms with only being a wife to Ben and not a mother of his children. She's isn't even willing to consider adoption. Knowing many women who have lost babies, she believes she might find the answer with another doctor, but what if this is the choice God has in store for her, to remain childless. Can she live with that fact forever?

I received Hopeful by Shelley Shepard Gray compliments of Litfuse Publicity and Avon Inspire for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation and the opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own. I found myself relating to Miriam's character quite a bit, willing to put her true feelings on the back burner to make everyone else happy. She is undoubtedly a people pleaser. I can see her struggle with her own self image and when things don't work out the way she likes, it seriously affects her self esteem. She finds herself second guessing herself at virtually every turn. I see so much of myself in Miriam's character, I felt like Shelley was writing about me. For me, this was one of the closest character parallels I've ever come across in a novel. It was like watching myself in this novel. I love how it turned out, and I won't give this one away, but trust me you'll want to check this one out. I personally give this a 5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about Hopeful, Shelley Shepard Gray, or where to pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Shelley Shepard Gray on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Hopeful, please visit the Litfuse Publicity Book Tour Page.

Welcome to the blog tour for Hopeful, the first book in Shelley Shepard Gray's new series, Return to Sugarcreek. Critics have already given their thumbs up for Hopeful: “Lovable characters and a good story, full of romance and suspense . . . a must read." (Library Journal)

Enter to win one of FIVE copies of the book. 


Five winners will receive:
  • Hopeful by Shelley Shepard Gray
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 23rd. All winners will be announced February 24th at Shelley's blog.

Enter today and be sure to visit Shelley's blog on the 24th to see if YOU won one of the books!

1 comment:

  1. Every time I visit I leave with a new handful of must reads.


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